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Accelerating the take off
Posted: 18 October 2018

What most people don't realise is that air traffic is growing exponentially, at an accelerating rate, globally. This is driven partly by increased efficiency due to tech, as well as increased affluence, especially in places like India and China, the biggest markets for future travel. It's one of the paradoxes of efficiency, called Jevson's paradox, I think, that as things become more efficient, they cost less, so we consume more of them in total. Jet engines, or the passenger-mile capabilities of jet airliners, are hugely more efficient than they were a couple of decades ago, and the latest versions, coupled with composite airframe technology pioneered by the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, make air travel more cost effective than ever, especially in fuel terms. Which means that more people can afford to fly more often, resulting in rapidly increasing demand for planes and jet fuel. Expect the total number of passengers carried to rise by 70% in the next ten years, then almost double in the decade following. That's great news for aircraft manufacturers, but is bound to cause headaches somewhere!

Everybody who's anybody is a frequent flyer
Dateline: 20 March 2038
In the last couple of decades, air traffic has rocketed. Annual air passenger numbers have shot up from less than 8 billion in 2018 to over 20 billion today. That's almost three times the world population, every year! Bearing in mind that hardly any flights exceed 24 hours, that means that, on average, 60 million people are boarding flights, somewhere, every day. And that doesn't include ...
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